US citizens advised to reconsider travel abroad amid coronavirus outbreak

As the coronavirus outbreak rages on, countries are closing their borders in a bid to slow the spread.

Among them is the US, with President Trump announcing a ban on foreign nationals who have visited the Schengen area in the last 14 days from entering the US.

The ban, which will come into effect on 13 March, will last for 30 days.

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The US State Department has also updated its advice for citizens.

A global level 3 health advisory was issued on 11 March warning US citizens to “reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of Covid-19“.

The State Department added: “Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing Covid-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveller mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.”

The whole of Italy went into lockdown soon after the country announced that it would be isolating northern Italy.

While the advisory doesn’t physically ban US citizens from travelling, for those who do, it might mean their insurance is invalidated.

The State Department’s advisory further adds that those who are planning to travel should check individual advisories issued for each country they’re visiting, as well as sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and so they can be located in an emergency.

On top of Donald Trump’s Schengen travel ban, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued a level 3 warning due to “widespread sustained transmission” of coronavirus, with citizens warned to avoid non-essential travel to a number of European countries.

The list includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City.

US residents who have visited these countries will need to self-isolate for 14 days after their return and monitor their health for symptoms of coronavirus.

The US State Department usually only issues advisories in relation to security concerns while the CDC issues notices in relation to health concerns.

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